Teen snowcross racer ups the challenge
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | January 26, 2017|
Minden snowcross racer Izac Reid soars across his driveway on a new snowmobile while Bruiser, the family dog, happily chases him.
In addition to his new Polaris Axys Chassis snowmobile, the 17-year-old is experiencing a new level of racing as he slowly familiarizes himself with the Canadian Snowcross Racing Association’s (CSRA) pro-lite class.
This season’s first test was Jan. 14 in Rouyn-Noranda, Que, and Reid was pleased with the top five finishes in both his qualifiers and finals races.
“I went in knowing I was going to have to learn a lot, but I still ended up getting very good results,” he said, adding he hopes to keep up the pace and maybe even end up on the podium a few times.
The mild winter didn’t faze Reid in 2016, as he finished first in the CSRA’s sport-600 class standings.
But he decided to leave the sport-600 class behind and pursue new challenges in the faster pro-lite class during his fifth year of racing.
His father Tim wasn’t sure if Reid was ready.
“He proved his point last week,” he said with a smile. “If you keep racing against slower riders your abilities won’t improve.”
Tim continues to maintain and repair Reid’s snowmobile and noted the new machine’s improved suspension system.
There was still some familiarizing left to do, he says.
A new race class also means a new schedule.
Starting February, Reid will have to endure five straight weekends of racing. Tim and his wife Paula will be there every step of the way, as they’ve always been.
“Doesn’t give us a lot of time to rest and work on the sled,” he said. “Hopefully we get a few breaks in there. I like to have some weekends off.”
Reid spent most of the summer preparing for the season by riding his dirt bike. He even entered and won a few races.
Becoming more agile on the sled was another goal, so he lost a bit of weight.
“With all the gear you wear you’re already limited in your movement … I feel like I can move around a lot better now,” he said.
Balancing school and racing hasn’t been a problem either, especially since races didn’t start until January.
A four-credit co-op program with a professional welder will provide him with a more flexible schedule during his second semester at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.
Tim says he and Paula are behind their son every step of the way.
“We enjoy doing all this with him,” he said.
Reid’s next races are scheduled for the Feb. 4 weekend in Sault Ste. Marie.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.